Jesus revealed something extraordinarily special to his disciples before he was crucified. He told them he was the vine and they were the branches. Have you ever looked at a vine? It’s hard to tell the vine from the branches because they are so similar! The same metaphor using an Oak tree, for example, would fail. He chose to use a vine because of several things, one of which I believe is the closeness between the vine and the branches themselves.
In false religions, God is tremendously distant from mankind. Mankind is forever trying to appease their mostly angry gods and are forever failing to do so. But Christianity is different. Christians are the children of God by spiritual birth and are intimately involved with Him.
Let’s read about the vine and the branches anew.
I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine dresser.
Every branch in me that bears not fruit he takes away: and every branch that bears fruit, he prunes it, that it may bring forth more fruit.
Now you are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.
Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can you, except you abide in me.
I am the vine, you are the branches: He that abides in me, and I in him, the same brings forth much fruit: for without me you can do nothing.
If a man abides not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.
If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, you shall ask what you will, and it shall be done unto you.
In this is my Father glorified, that you bear much fruit; so shall you be my disciples.
As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you: continue you in my love.
If you keep my commandments, you shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.
These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.
This is my commandment, That you love one another, as I have loved you.
Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
You are my friends, if you do whatsoever I command you.
From now on I call you not servants; for the servant knows not what his lord does: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.
You have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that you should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever you shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it to you.
These things I command you, that you love one another.
There is a Greek word hidden in these verses that is used 15 times. Wow. 15 times. Does Jesus want to emphasize something? It’s the Greek word, “meno” and it means to “dwell within” the bounds of something. It’s translated ‘continue’, ‘abide in’ and ‘remain’ but it always means to dwell within.
When we dwell within Christ, he dwells within us and we do what he wants to do. We have his love, his power and his authority to do so. Without him we can do nothing.
Abiding in Christ is the Christian’s privilege. Imagine being buddies with the number one person in the world — who has all authority, all rights to everything and access to everyone! That’s our privilege as the children of God.
“My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message,
that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.
I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one—
I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.
Christianity offers direct access to God the Father through our Lord Jesus Christ. You can come as you are and God will accept you because of what Jesus did for you already. The call God’s and the answer to that call is up to you. Here’s how to get started:
Romans 10:9 ,10
If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you shall be saved.
For with the heart man believes unto righteousness and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
Go for it — what on ‘earth’ are you waiting for?